Passing of Beninese Intellectual Stanislas Spero Adotevi

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

The nation of Benin mourns the loss of yet another of its intellectuals, Professor Stanislas Spero Adotevi. A writer, philosopher, and former Minister of Culture and Information, he passed away on Wednesday, February 7th, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, at the age of 90.

Adotevi was known for his critical views of poet-president Léopold Sédar Senghor and his concept of negritude. A distinguished international civil servant, he authored the renowned work “Négritude et Négrologues,” released in 1972.

It was his literary attacks against Léopold Sédar Senghor that brought him into the limelight. In 1972, he published “Négritude et Négrologues,” a pamphlet challenging the poet-president’s concept of negritude. While Senghor proclaimed, “Emotion is Negro,” Stanislas Adotevi countered with his pen, stating, “This reduces us to emotional beings.”

In his fight against Senghor, he found an ally in Congolese writer Henri Lopès, who wrote the preface for a second edition of “Négritudes et Négrologues.” Adotevi also authored “N’Krumah ou le rêve éveillé.” It is reported that the late Thomas Sankara held great admiration for Adotevi’s articles and reflections on Africa.

Stanislas Adotevi served as the director of the University of Mutants in Gorée, Senegal, at the invitation of his friend Cheik Hamidou Kane, the author of “L’aventure ambiguë.” He taught philosophy at the University of Paris VII and served twice as a minister in Benin during the 1960s. After a distinguished career as a regional director for UNICEF, he settled in Ouagadougou.

Tributes pour in from Dakar, Ouagadougou, and Cotonou, underscoring the profound impact of Stanislas Spero Adotevi’s life and work across borders and generations.

Soukaina Sghir

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